Trouble visualizing DnD game and paying attention advice?

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I feel bad sometimes I can have an awful hard time being able to visualize everything our DM describes is happening in the game. The other players don't seem to have a problem with this.  Either I just don't have as good of a verbal memory and concentration ability as the other players or they just forget a lot too and wing it. It can be even harder to concentrate with all the side table conversations and when my mind starts wandering. I have a hard time concentrating on anything without taking frequent 20 minute breaks. For example we will be in a couple dungeon rooms say for 12 hours. Our DM will first describe the room when we enter then half an hour later I completely forgot what most of the room looks like except for the very basics. If a map is drawn that really helps, but still a lot of important visual information is lost.

Staying concentrated on the game can be very challenging sometimes. I love playing the game and I am not bored it's just when my mind starts to wander I have no control over where it goes and how long it stays at that destination. I will be lost in thoughts and then "wake up" and realize a lot of time has gone by and it is almost my turn and I have no idea what just happened. It is way too embarassing to ask so I just try to fudge it. Being able to concentrate on a game for 12 hours straight takes an enormous amount of concentration ability and is a skill I wish I had.  I feel sometimes I really am missing out on the game because I am missing so much information.

From experienced gamers is there anyways they have learned to improve their concentration ability in the game and to retain more verbal information in the game?

I think the core issue is not your difficulty in remembering or paying attention, but your unwillingness to ask your DM to repeat his descriptions, or to simply admit that you haven't been paying attention and would like a recap of the last round of combat.

I suspect you're rather young, as this can be socially awkward, admitting that you haven't been paying attention. But in reality, and you'll find this more and more as you get older, it's totally alright to ask someone to repeat something they just said, or to clarify it, or to remind you of what just happened. It happens all the time.

My recommendation is to get more comfortable with it. 

Standard Answer to all 5E rules questions: "Ask your DM."

i cant tell if this guy is joking or not bc his other threads are like 'i need help rolling dice'. gotta be joking
Take notes.

Seriously.  Just take notes.

List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I suspect you're rather young 

I am over 30. Most computer programmers I have worked with have the same reserved personality, so it is just me. 
Most programmers I know are only reserved around the opposite sex...  Is your DM a girl?  Wink

You mention a lot of side conversations, it could help to cut down on that.  Try telling people to calm it down a bit. 
Taking notes helps me a lot. It's also completely fine to ask someone to repeat or clarify something.

You can also try spending your time between turns doing things related to the game, such as discussing strategy with your teammates and planning out your next turn.
Just like anything else, your brain needs practice to stay sharp the best solution I have found is to, stop watching as much t.v. (I actually dont watch t.v. at all anymore), and cutting down my video game time to no more than an hour or two a day.   Also make a point of reading more (at least for a little while), also take long walks, and try and think of cool stories, settings, backgrounds and scenes, even if your not the DM as your mind actually functions more clearly when your body is active (even if your just walking around, its why I DM standing up),

I experienced exactly what you are describing after I got my first game system (an x-box) played that thing non-stop.  6 months later, my friends asked me to dm a game and I failed terribly, my vocabulary, but more importantly my imagination jsut wasnt up to the task.  That scared the crap out of me becuase I actually felt like I was becoming dumber.

I still love video games and movies, but when it comes down to it books are just better brainfood.

I am 26.

Being able to concentrate on a game for 12 hours straight takes an enormous amount of concentration ability and is a skill I wish I had.


Wait, you're gaming for twelve hours at a time? No wonder you lose concentration! The attention span of the average adult is something like 45 minutes, so's certainly not you. If the rest of your group can maintain concentration for anywhere near that long, they're some kind of mutants.

I second the "Just come clean" suggestion. Explain your problem, and that you need to take regular breaks to maintain focus. They'll understand.
I agree with Complete4th. Our sesions run 5-6 hours but we only play once a month. 

I'm clinically diagnosed with ADD so I've had to work on the focus quite a bit. I'm also not an auditory learner. You can tell me somethign simple and five minutes later I can't remember half of what you said. One thing that helps me keep up is that I am the journal keeper. This serves several functions. 1. I remember the physical act of writing stuff down so what people describe becomes clearer. 2. If we forget when an effect is applied I can go back into the notes and count the rounds. 3. I'm the group hero. I've got a record of every magic item we've ever owned and who is carrying it. Even the DM has emailed me for details on past adventures. 4. I have an excuse for asking everyone to repeat the entire last round. "I need to make sure my notes are correct :D" Just besure you stick to the important stuff. It's not a play by play of a chess match it's quick blurbs about groups of actions. 

I build visual aides. While I do have a modest collection of minatures and tiles, we also use everything from dice to Herseys Kisses as objects. I feel a lot more immersed when I actually get to move my mintotaur palidan out the building window on top of the mummy. Even if the building is a hastily drawn square and the mummy a Resse's peanutbutter cup. We also make pipecleaner squares to represent areas of effect for spells and such. If a character is on fire, whoever is bored will make a little red flaming crown.  
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